RORY BUTCHER has hailed a "very special end" to the Kwik Fit British Touring Car Championship and has set his sights on a "genuine crack" at the 2023 title.

The Toyota Gazoo Racing UK driver ended the 2022 season fifth in the standings following the final race weekend at Brands Hatch last month, which saw him take one second, one third and one fourth place.

Whilst the title was claimed by Tom Ingram, Fife star Butcher sought to end on a high having collected two rostrum finishes at Silverstone a fortnight earlier.

He duly maintained that form by taking his Speedworks Motorsport-run Toyota Corolla GR Sport to second place in race one, having qualified in that position, behind the eventual champion.

The 35-year-old then challenged for the lead in race two, but eventually conceded to Jake Hill and Colin Turkington as his pace dropped slightly to finish fourth, before clinching third in race three to collect his ninth podium place this year.

It also ensured a second career top five in the series for Butcher, who said: "My aim for Brands Hatch was to cement fifth in the standings, and that’s exactly what we did.

"We came into this season with a different engine package and a shake-up in the regulations with the hybrid system replacing success ballast, and it took us the first four or five weekends to get to where we should be – but over the second half, we’ve really settled into our stride.

"We’ve actually been mega consistent this year and have scored points in 29 of the 30 races – that kind of consistency is really hard to come by in this championship.

"It’s been a very special end to the season. I feel like we’re really building some momentum and it’s kind of sad that we’re now heading into a break, but we’ve learned so much and that fills us with confidence for 2023. Hopefully we can go into next year, hit the ground running and really exploit that to have a genuine crack at the title."

Elsewhere, Butcher's brother-in-law, Gordon Shedden, finished the 2022 series in seventh place following the final round of action.

Three-time champion 'Flash', who took the honours in 2012, 2015 and 2016, was 14th in qualifying but bowed out of race one after 13 laps, before posting finishes of 19th and 13th in races two and three.

He ended the season with a points haul of 248, 70 behind Butcher, as Ingram took the 2022 crown with 394, finishing clear of Ash Sutton (382) and Hill (381).